Contribute to Pay It Forward to the Blood Drive Fund.

SF Has a Heart

This is the Blood Drive pin given out to donors at Heinlein Society-sponsored Blood Drives. The pin was designed by Robert A. Heinlein and means: Science Fiction has a heart.

Every year the Heinlein Society spends several thousand dollars for these pins, and are happy to do so, as each pin represents a blood donor. But with the extreme success of blood drives at large conventions like DragonCon, we're afraid we won't be able to afford enough pins for everyone. If you'd like to donate specifically to the Blood Drive fund, please use this Paypal link. Thank you for Paying it Forward!

Blood Drives

Follow Heinlein Society Blood Drive news on Facebook!

New Blood Drive Chair

Carlin Black has coordinated many Pay it Forward drives at Wondercon, Kublacon, Pantheacon, and Celesticon, and San Jose Comicon all in the SF area.  He is available and experienced at setting up, planning, and coordinating blood drives anywhere in the country.  New coordinators and volunteers at existing drives are always appreciated. These days all you need to know about giving blood to coordinate a blood drive is that it is good to Pay it Forward.  Help for everything else will be provided.    Please contact him at  for help with planning your drive or starting a new one.

Many of the deferral rules are changing, or have changed, which help many convention attendees qualify as donors that used to have an excuse at the table.  Tattoos, piercings, some medications, and MSM rules have been modified.  Please email   with any questions.

Heinlein Society Blood Drive heart pin
Pay It Forward: Sign up to give blood at a Heinlein Society blood drive or volunteer to help! Email


With Dragoncon again leading the pack with 2837 donations of all types society blood drives have exceeded 30,000 donaions since 2001.  Arisia, Wondercon and Worldcon lead the smaller convention drives.  But they all count even the startups.  Let us know how we can help you with your THS drive!

Reports on past blood drives welcome! Many thanks to the many volunteers who make this life saving service possible to so many first time donors as well as lifelong repeat donor who donate nowhere else than our drives.

Recurring drives:


Silicon Valley Comic Con


Steampunk City
Anime Boston

 Giving blood only takes about an hour; anyone 16 and up, and in good health, can give blood. For more information on the requirements to be a donor, visit the United Blood Services website. Heinlein readers will recall the National Rare Blood Club was an integral part of his novel I Will Fear No Evil and, in an appendix to the novel, he informed his readers that the organization he had written about actually existed and deserved their support. Mr. Heinlein traveled extensively to promote this important cause and frequently donated himself.The Heinlein Society has made blood drives a permanent, ongoing effort, and continues to invite all to participate in this critically important effort. Life-saving blood is always in short supply, and a healthy person may donate every 56 days. According to the Red Cross, each blood donation can save up to three lives. It is a safe and quick procedure, usually taking no more than an hour of one’s time.While walk-ins are welcome, we’d appreciate as many as possible to pre-register.Heinlein Society Blood Drive heart pinTo sign up to give blood at a Heinlein Society blood drive, or to volunteer to help, email: you for paying it forward!

About Science Fiction Convention Blood Drives…

In 1976, only a few years after recovery from two years of extensive illnesses that prevented his final editing “cuts” of I Will Fear No Evil, Robert Heinlein put his own words into action. With the help of other science fiction devotees, including many well-known authors, he organized a blood drive at MidAmericon, the 34th World Science Fiction Convention. It was the first of many such blood drives and was the start of a tradition.Many local organizations have followed that worthy tradition and hold their own drives in memory of Robert A. Heinlein at local conventions. On Labor Day weekend in 2001 at the Millenium Philcon, the Heinlein Society took up the tradition by organizing our first convention blood drive. Despite being several blocks from the convention center we had an excellent turnout and collected over 60 units of blood. It was a tremendous success.

Since that time we have run dozens of convention blood drives—including most of the subsequent Worldcons—and assisted with a number of others, with many more to come. Our goal is to have a blood drive at every convention large enough to support one. Where there is no local organization, we will set the blood drive up. Where there is a local organization willing and able to organize the drive themselves, and there are many, we will offer our help.

3 Responses to Blood Drives

  1. Mark Worthen says:

    I have fond memories of meeting Robert Heinlein at the San Diego Comic-Con in either 1976 or 1977 (before he became ill and stopped doing blood drives?) at his blood drive. I was but 16 or 17 at the time yet he treated me with the same respect and appreciation as the notables present at the Con, and thanked me heartily for donating blood. I kept on donating until they wouldn’t let me anymore (the gay exception… grrrrrr).

    Btw, this is a superb website! Exceptionally well-written, comprehensive, and warm-hearted. Congrats to those of you who have obviously put much time, effort, and love into its creation and development.


    • Clark says:

      Thanks, Mark. Sorry you’ve been deferred by the MSM policy. I hope you know that the ARC and AABB appealed to the CBER (a FDA & CDC joint committee) for evidence based epidemiology to drive a revision of the medical history question set in 2006. It took the administration change in 2009 for the committee to formally accept the appeal and its supporting documents and start research to guide a revision. Yes, it’s been four years. I wish they’d get on with it.

      If you have a con or two you like to attend, would you consider be a blood drive volunteer, or even coordinate a drive? I understand if you’d rather not, but I’ve found that the majority of my volunteers do so because they’re deferred, but still want to help. Best wishes, and thanks again.

    • JCarlin says:

      Hi Mark-
      The MSM rule has been modified to a one year deferral for MSM and partners. We are working on a better solution but at least the lifetime deferral is gone.

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